Is the future of food vegan? This is a question more and more people are starting to ask. There is a notable difference in the amount of vegan and vegetarian meal options and restaurants popping up globally. Even restaurants like Burger King and Pizza Hut boast vegan dishes. Veganuary, a popular challenge for meat eaters to give up animal products for the month of January has the biggest pledge in their seven year history; more than 440,000 and sign ups continue to grow at a rate of one every three seconds! There was also the largest percentage of plant based holiday meals ever recorded for the 2020 holiday season.
Personally, my family and I have always been avid carnivores, and admittedly even poked a little fun at our vegan and vegetarian friends (always in good humor of course), but we have now spent the majority of the last year plant-based. In our family of three, we are a vegetarian, pescatarian and flexitarian; someone who mostly eats plant based but occasionally eats meat. Not only has our health and energy drastically improved by losing weight, building muscle and noticing big differences in our recovery times and abilities at the gym, but we are happy to be reducing our carbon footprint. Protecting the environment is really important to us, especially as parents. With greenhouse gasses, the massive amounts of land and agriculture being fed to these animals, pollution, and the rapidly increasing population of the planet, continuing to eat animal products at every meal is simply not sustainable.
So is the world changing? Are more people starting to take notice and change their habits for the sake of humanity and being humane? Here we are 9 months into a global pandemic caused, like many others, by animal agriculture. Though not pleasant to think about, we all know where our store packaged meat really comes from, but few have a grasp on the conditions of factory farms. It’s not something we want to see and we’ve been trained to think we need it. Science Meat is the staple of most meals for many people, and it is difficult to imagine what we would do without it.
On our own plant based journey, we’ve found that the main reason people remain hesitant is because they don’t know where to start and are afraid of giving up their favorite foods. These were challenges for us as well, thankfully we connected with Nestor and Jessica of MexiCanadian Vegan Munchies here in Vallarta. Thanks to their support and creativity we learned to enjoy our food even more than we did while eating meat. And having tasted a large number of their dishes and treats, we know that making the switch to a more plant-based diet is not only doable, but absolutely delicious!
Nestor and Jessica met here in Vallarta in 2003 and returned with their daughter to share their love of this beautiful city. Like many of the trending vegans, Nestor and Jessica decided to go vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings and realizing that they didn't want to contribute to the exploitation of animals any longer. Prior to this, they had been eating a vegetarian diet for health reasons; going vegan was a commitment to a lifestyle beyond the dietary aspect alone. If you are interested in some compelling documentaries sans the gore of slaughterhouses, try Game Changers, What The Health, and Forks over Knives which are more focused on the inspirational aspects, such as the health benefits, of switching to a plant-based diet.
Jessica has had a love for baking since childhood and was completely romanced by the warmth, smells and flavors of the kitchen. Now she lives her life by the philosophy that everyone should eat dessert everyday! And she knows she can do this without sacrificing flavor or her health. Imagine if eating your favorite dessert was as healthy as eating a bowl of homemade trail mix!
“I’m so passionate about veganizing my favorite desserts because there's a misconception out there that when you go vegan, you have to give up your favorite foods! I love showing people that’s just not the case. You just have to explore and find the right vegan substitutes, and it's been so much fun to do! In fact, my vegan versions have all the taste with no cholesterol, so they're just as delicious and healthier than the non-vegan versions.”
Her mission to create vegan desserts came from an inescapable craving for a chocolate cake that led her to using applesauce and coconut oil instead of eggs and butter and, apparently, the results were nothing short of fantastic. Thankfully for us all, she has perfected not only the chocolate cake, but just about any dessert you can imagine and you’d never even know they were vegan! “Desserts make people happy and gifting is my love language. It's really rewarding for me to be able to make someone a vegan version of their favorite dessert.” She is currently crafting a cookbook with easy, healthy and delicious vegan comfort foods, including all their favorite desserts that we can’t wait to get our hands on!
If you are curious about trying some new foods, or feeling the pull to make changes in your own life, you should absolutely check out their Facebook page! Nes and Jess are so passionate about helping people heal their bodies with healthy food and are happy to offer their support.